environmental engineering

July 11, 2024

Jennifer Taylor and Morgan Sykes celebrating well-earned promotions!


Jennifer Taylor has been promoted to Project Director at SCS Engineers. Her exceptional leadership skills have been instrumental in managing a multidisciplinary team and exceeding client expectations. In her new role, she will also oversee the liquids management team in KC, further expanding her leadership responsibilities.

Jenny’s passion for mentoring staff and building client relationships makes her a valuable asset to our team.

Outside work, she enjoys camping in southern Missouri and exploring the Ozark trails on ATVs with her family.

Congratulations, Jenny!



SCS is thrilled to announce the promotion of Morgan Sykes to the esteemed position of Senior Project Manager. Known for his exceptional engineering prowess and dedication to finding innovative solutions for complex projects, Morgan has been a valuable asset to our team since joining SCS in October 2021. His leadership on various engineering-heavy design projects, including transfer stations, has been instrumental in our continued success.

Not only is Morgan a skilled project manager, but he also excels as a mentor, guiding young engineers in the principles of civil engineering design. His diverse talents have made a significant impact on SCS, particularly in the Energy and Construction sectors.

Originally from a ranch in southern Colorado, Morgan’s journey led him to the Colorado School of Mines and eventually to his role as a City Engineer, where he met his wife Tess, a journalist covering City activities. Together, they are proud parents to three children and are currently immersed in planning their eldest’s wedding, attending swim meets, and cheering loudly at soccer games.

Please join us in congratulating Morgan on this well-deserved promotion. We look forward to witnessing his continued success and contributions to our organization.


Please contact SCS Engineers if you are interested in working with our clients to make the world safer and cleaner!




Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

July 10, 2024

Daniel Cooper, SCS Engineers


Daniel Cooper and twenty other individuals devoted to resource management were recently elected to the Solid Waste Association of North America’s (SWANA) Board. SWANA is governed by its 21-member Board of Directors (BOD) from across the continent, who are responsible for setting strategic direction and overseeing the association’s operations and policy positions.

The Board of Directors receives input from an Advisory Board of delegates from all SWANA chapters, technical divisions, private sectors, and young professional members.

Daniel (Dan) Cooper is associated with SWANA’s Landfill Gas (LFG) Technical Division and the Sunshine Chapter. He brings two decades of experience in the solid waste consulting industry and specializes in LFG collection systems, including design, permitting, compliance, testing, and construction.

Dan regularly publishes articles and presents as a recognized LFG expert at regional and national forums. Dan is an SCS Vice President and a regional leader of SCS’s solid waste engineering practice, focusing on landfill, landfill gas, solid waste facilities, and solid waste systems financial studies.

Dan’s experience extends beyond the design and construction phase of LFG systems. He is a go-to resource for Landfill gas to Energy, LFG system compliance, and Title V/Clean Air Act regulatory guidance.

Dan is a Professional Engineer in Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Tennessee. He earned his ME in Environmental Engineering at the University of South Florida and his BS in Chemical Engineering at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

In a recent press release, Amy Lestition Burke, SWANA’s Executive Director & CEO, said,

We are thrilled to welcome our new board members and leaders. Their extensive experience and passion for environmental stewardship will be invaluable as we navigate challenges and opportunities in our industry. Together, we aim to foster collaboration, drive innovation, promote safety, and educate others on best practices that enhance the sustainability and efficiency of waste and resource management practices.


The employee-owners of SCS Engineers congratulate and thank the former and the new SWANA Board of Directors, who provide their time and expertise to help move solid waste management to resource management using a combination of education, research, and advocacy.



Posted by Diane Samuels at 4:14 pm

July 10, 2024

Congratulations to Tim Buelow, Bret Clements, and Kevin Jensen for their environmental leadership.


Since joining SCS in February 2023, Tim Buelow has quickly established himself as a highly respected and trusted advisor within the industry. Known for his thorough evaluation of complex scenarios and ability to consider multiple perspectives, Tim has successfully led unique projects for clients in Iowa. Clients value Tim’s technical expertise and rely on him to provide innovative solutions to their most pressing issues.

Internally, Tim is known for his humility and collaborative nature, always willing to share his knowledge and mentor colleagues with his client-first approach. In recognition of his outstanding contributions, Tim has been promoted to Project Advisor, where he will continue to deliver exceptional service to clients at a high technical level.

Outside of work, Tim celebrates important milestones in his personal life, including 20 years of marriage to his wife Heidi and raising two sons. In his free time, Tim enjoys quality time with his family and sharing his passion for music by playing trumpet and euphonium alongside his sons at local churches.


We are thrilled to announce Bret Clements’s promotion to Project Director at SCS! Since 2008, Bret has showcased exceptional leadership, driving the success of key client projects and fostering growth within our engineering team. His dedication and hard work have been pivotal in completing numerous Renewable Natural Gas projects.

Bret is passionate about developing our staff in Overland Park and ensuring their professional growth. His business acumen and analytical skills are vital in addressing business challenges and driving continued success.

Congratulations, Bret, on your well-deserved promotion!


Kevin Jensen has been promoted to the role of Project Manager at SCS. Since joining our team in February 2023, Kevin has consistently demonstrated exceptional dedication to our Iowa industrial clients. His commitment to delivering projects on time and within budget has earned him a reputation as a trusted advisor in compliance and engineering services. Kevin’s proactive approach to client advocacy and his ability to keep our internal team aligned with project goals have been instrumental in our continued success.

A native of north-central Iowa and a graduate of Iowa State University, Kevin brings a wealth of experience from his time at John Deere and ADM before transitioning to consulting in 2016. Outside of work, Kevin enjoys relaxing on his deck, listening to music with his fiancée, and tending to their lively menagerie of two dogs, ducks, and chickens.

Please join us in congratulating Kevin on his well-deserved promotion. We are excited to see where his leadership takes us in the future!


Please contact SCS Engineers if you are interested in working with our clients to make the world safer and cleaner!

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

July 9, 2024

critical minerals program - scs engineers
The Critical Minerals and Materials (CMM) Program aims to rebuild U.S. leadership in extraction and processing technologies for the production of critical minerals and materials (CMM) that include rare earth elements (REE), critical minerals (originally defined by the U.S. Geological Survey [USGS]), and materials deemed critical by the Department of Energy (DOE), from secondary and unconventional resources to support an economical, environmentally benign, and geopolitically sustainable U.S. domestic supply chain.

SCS Engineers is working to complete a regional assessment of rare earth elements and other critical mineral (CM) opportunities within parts of Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and the Osage Nation as part of a multi-state effort led by the Kansas Geological Survey (Critical Minerals in Coaly Strata of the Cherokee-Forest City Basin | netl.doe.gov).

This project is part of a multi-year Carbon Ore, Rare Earth, and Critical Minerals (CORE-CM, FOA-0002364) initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Energy to address all aspects of establishing a domestic critical mineral supply chain and the reuse of high-value, nonfuel, carbon-based resources. SCS Engineers is working with stakeholders within the Cherokee-Forest City Basin to develop assessments and strategies for waste stream reuse, infrastructural capacities and capabilities, technology development, outreach, and public-private partnerships.

The work from this project will identify information, technology, and infrastructure gaps that will need to be addressed to develop economic opportunities for critical mineral production, refining, and utilization specific to the Cherokee-Forest City Basin. These assessments may be utilized in future Phase II and Phase III components of the planned CORE-CM program for potential implementation within the region.

This study along with others have the potential to reduce U.S. reliance on foreign sources of critical minerals that are essential for electronics, renewable energy technologies, advanced manufacturing, and defense applications. It could also provide coal mines with additional markets for their product, transforming coal from something that is burned into a 21st century feedstock for advanced manufacturing.


Department of Energy Program Goals and Funding

Some research efforts are focused on unconventional and secondary feedstocks, such as coal and coal refuse, coal fly ash, acid mine drainage, mine waste, oil- and gas-produced waters, and brines extracted as part of carbon sequestration efforts. These feedstocks are known to contain elevated concentrations of CMMs, potentially in economic quantities, however their occurrence and distribution is not well constrained.

In April 2024, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM) announced up to $60 million in funding to create regional teams to support the development of critical mineral and materials supply chains and novel high-value, nonfuel carbon-based products from unconventional and secondary feedstocks, such as coal and coal by-products, effluent waters from oil and natural gas development and production, and acid mine drainage. Realizing the critical mineral and materials potential in these feedstocks would enable the United States to rebuild a domestic supply chain for rare earth elements and other critical minerals and materials—which support high-tech manufacturing and the production of components for clean energy technologies—and reduce our dependence on international supply chains.

The funding period is now closed but projects selected under this funding opportunity will be announced in October and will continue the work of DOE’s CORE-CM Initiative, and expand the focus from the basin scale to a larger, regional scale. CORE-CM projects will develop and implement strategies that enable each specific basin to realize its full economic potential for producing REE, CM and high-value, nonfuel, carbon-based products from basin-contained resources.


Learn More Here:

Speak with our Author, Dr. Jon Yang, Senior Project Professional.  Dr. Yang is a geochemist/engineer experienced in identifying and developing solutions to geochemical questions utilizing skillsets in experimental design, analytical chemistry, geochemical modelling, geological characterization, and engineering process design. He is also experienced in advancing research from early technology readiness levels along pathways for potential commercialization and/or technological transfer.





Posted by Diane Samuels at 11:36 am

June 20, 2024

SCS Engineers periodically prepares SCS Technical Bulletins and alerts to highlight items of interest to our clients.


In March 2024, the EPA launched a new Office of Climate Adaptation and Sustainability that supports efforts to build resilience to climate change and promote sustainability in support of the agency’s mission and its partnerships. Federal agencies have been making progress in efforts to build adaptive capacity and resilience across federal operations.

Today’s publication of EPA’s 2024-2027 Climate Adaptation Plan is part of a coordinated release of more than twenty federal agencies’ climate adaptation plans that highlight efforts across the federal government. The Plan describes agency actions to address the impacts of climate change and help build a more climate-resilient nation. The plan expands the agency’s efforts to ensure its programs, facilities, workforce, and operations are increasingly resilient to climate change impacts.

Highlights from EPA’s 2024-2027 Climate Adaptation Plan are included below.

Fostering a Climate-Ready Workforce – The EPA is building a climate-literate workforce through ongoing education and training to ensure staff are equipped with an understanding of projected climate impacts, the vulnerability of EPA programs to these impacts, and adaptation approaches. One example is the agency-wide Climate Conversations webinar series helping to build a community of practice and encourages peer-to-peer sharing of experiences.

Building Facility Resilience – EPA is continuing to conduct facility resiliency assessments to identify vulnerabilities to the impacts of climate change and make recommendations to increase facility resilience.

Developing Climate-Resilient Supply Chains – EPA has included an assessment of climate hazard risk as part of its overall Agency Supply Chain Risk Management plan. The agency plans to conduct supply chain risk assessments under the Program Management Improvement Accountability Act and the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act in fiscal year 2024.

Integrating Climate Resilience into External Funding Opportunities – EPA is modernizing its financial assistance programs to encourage investments by communities and Tribes that are more resilient in an era of climate change.  To support this effort, the EPA launched an internal Climate-Resilient Investments Clearinghouse website to help managers of financial assistance programs incorporate climate adaptation and resilience considerations in the investment decisions the EPA makes each day.

Applying Climate Data and Tools to Decision Making – EPA is equipping communities and the recipients of financial resources with the tools, data, information, and technical support they need to assess their climate risks and develop the climate-resilience solutions most appropriate for them.

Integrating Climate Adaptation into Rulemaking Processes – EPA is integrating climate adaptation into its rulemaking processes where appropriate and in keeping with our statutory authorities to ensure they are effective even as the climate changes.  For example, on March 14, 2024, EPA finalized a rule requiring a broad array of facilities that manage hazardous materials to develop response plans to prepare for the largest foreseeable discharges in adverse weather conditions, including more extreme weather conditions expected as the climate changes. EPA is also committed to applying climate change and environmental justice policy principles through National Environmental Policy Act reviews.

Additional Climate Adaption Resources:




Posted by Diane Samuels at 11:15 am

May 8, 2024

SCS Engineers Composting Programs


SCS Engineers announces that Erik Martig is now the project director and organics leader in the Southwest region covering California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah. Martig’s expertise in compost systems design, operations, and management aligns with and supports SCS clients moving to organics management as a strategy to reduce greenhouse gases and reuse organic material productively. His office is in Pleasanton, California.

As a Certified Compost Operations Manager, Martig has over a decade of experience producing results for public and private clients such as L.A. Compost, San Mateo County Resource Conservation District, The Heal Project Farm, and clients across the U.S.

SCS Engineers’ Organics Management teams help communities evaluate their waste streams and create custom programs using circular economy strategies that produce high-grade compost. Instead of treating organic material as waste filling up landfills, they produce a product good for the environment. These programs are launching all across the U.S. in small and large communities because they are effective and sustainable but require expansive knowledge and training.

Martig’s project management expertise includes developing project charters and teams that serve all stakeholders, custom design, environmental compliance, financing/funding from grant programs, and safety to create and sustain long-term programs. SCS provides pilot programs for entities wishing to test before they invest in the technology.

Among his professional accolades, Martig has presented at industry events such as the BioCycle West Coast Conference and the U.S. Composting Council to share insights with others. The Solid Waste Association of North America recognized him with its Unsung Heroes Award in 2015 for his work as Program Manager at GrowNYC, developing and increasing New York City’s network of residential food scrap drop-off sites.

Robert Lange, former director of the Bureau of Waste Prevention Reuse and Recycling at DSNY, stated,

Erik Martig has played a critical role in developing New York City’s network of residential food scrap drop-off sites. As Program Manager at GrowNYC, Martig significantly grew the number of drop-off opportunities at farmers’ markets throughout all five of NYC’s boroughs. Additionally, he developed a system for managing the organics collected through the drop-off program, which included providing a portion of the organics collected to community-based composting sites and thereby generating high-quality finished compost to be used by local public greening initiatives.

“Community-Scale Composting Systems,” A Comprehensive Practical Guide for Closing the Food System Loop and Solving Our Waste Crisis by James McSweeney highlights Martig’s urban composting programs as best practices.

“As the Southwest team lead for SCS Engineers’ composting programs, Martig brings a fresh perspective to our clients who expect high quality and technical expertise to advance their programs,” says Vice President Greg McCarron, SCS’s national expert on organics. “They’ll get that from Erik and his team.”


Composting and Organics Management Resources:



Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

April 25, 2024

Join SCS Engineers
Mary Morkin-Garcia and William Haley join the SCS Engineers team.


SCS Engineers is pleased to announce the addition of Mary Morkin-Garcia and William Haley to the SCS team. Morkin-Garcia joins as the new project director of Southwest groundwater monitoring programs, while Haley assumes the role of Project Director of the Southern California landfill engineering group. Both employees will report to Srividhya Viswanathan, vice president and leader of the landfill engineering practice for SCS’s Southwest business unit.

“Mary and William are stellar additions to our team, combining decades of experience in environmental remediation and landfill engineering. We look forward to the valuable contributions they will bring to our organization,” said Viswanathan.

Morkin-Garcia is a project manager and Professional Geologist with over two decades of experience in environmental remediation project management. Her Master of Science in Hydrogeology and extensive fieldwork contribute to her Project/Field Hydrogeologist expertise. Her experience includes managing multi-year projects in remedial design, building demolition, site remediation, and regulatory site closure. She oversees all aspects of these projects, including design, coordination of field activities and personnel, internal and external project cost and schedule control, reporting, risk management, and quality assurance in accordance with state and local standards.

Haley is a Professional Engineer with 13 years of experience and a Bachelor of Science from the Colorado School of Mines. Haley’s experience includes developing, managing, and leading project teams while providing landfill design and engineering services nationwide. These services include design, permitting, construction, regulatory compliance, and capital budgeting. Haley has successfully directed solid waste engineering projects for over 40 landfills and disposal sites in 13 states.


Welcome to SCS Engineers!


Find your environmental career at SCS and help businesses, communities, and our planet thrive.



Posted by Diane Samuels at 2:58 pm

April 19, 2024

Earth Day

Protecting human health and the environment got serious in 1970.

Make your impact on the environment today.

April 1, 1970, SCS Engineers Founded

April 22, 1970, first Earth Day

December 2, 1970, U.S. EPA Founded


Since its inception, the environmental movement has been a force to reckon with, uniting over 1 billion people annually on Earth Day and every day. Together, we have taken significant steps to protect our planet, and our collective efforts continue to make a difference.

Numerous Earth Day events are in the works to celebrate the day and the movement. This year’s theme is “Planet vs. Plastics,” and Earthday.org has some great suggestions for making a difference. Look for events in your area—we all make a difference when we make an effort today, this week, or as part of our careers.

Earth Day Events:




Posted by Diane Samuels at 11:37 am

April 10, 2024

EPA alert


On April 10, the Federal Administration issued the first-ever national, legally enforceable drinking water standard to protect communities from exposure to harmful per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), also known as ‘forever chemicals.’ Exposure to PFAS has been linked to deadly cancers, impacts to the liver and heart, and immune and developmental damage to infants and children. This final rule represents the most significant step to protect public health under EPA’s PFAS Strategic Roadmap.

EPA is also making funding available to help ensure that all people have clean and safe water. In addition to today’s final rule, EPA is announcing nearly $1 billion in newly available funding to help states and territories implement PFAS testing and treatment at public water systems and to help owners of private wells address PFAS contamination. This is part of a $9 billion investment through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to help communities with water impacted by PFAS and other emerging contaminants – the largest-ever investment in tackling PFAS pollution. An additional $12 billion is available through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for general drinking water improvements, including addressing emerging contaminants like PFAS.

The enforceable drinking water PFAS regulations are finalized today and posted here. EPA PFAS regulations under the Safe Water Drinking Act page.

EPA finalized a National Primary Drinking Water Regulation (NPDWR) establishing legally enforceable levels, called Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs), for six PFAS in drinking water. PFOA, PFOS, PFHxS, PFNA, and HFPO-DA as contaminants with individual MCLs, and PFAS mixtures containing at least two or more of PFHxS, PFNA, HFPO-DA, and PFBS using a Hazard Index MCL to account for the combined and co-occurring levels of these PFAS in drinking water. EPA also finalized health-based, non-enforceable Maximum Contaminant Level Goals (MCLGs) for these PFAS.


The final rule requires:

  • Public water systems must monitor for these PFAS and have three years to complete initial monitoring (by 2027), followed by ongoing compliance monitoring. Water systems must also provide the public with information on the levels of these PFAS in their drinking water beginning in 2027.
  • Public water systems have five years (by 2029) to implement solutions that reduce these PFAS if monitoring shows that drinking water levels exceed these MCLs.
  • Beginning in five years (2029), public water systems that have PFAS in water for drinking, which violates one or more of these MCLs must take action to reduce levels of these PFAS in their drinking water and must provide notification to the public of the violation.

EPA estimates that between about 6% and 10% of the 66,000 public water systems subject to this rule may have to take action to reduce PFAS to meet these new standards. All public water systems have three years to complete their initial monitoring for these chemicals. They must inform the public of the level of PFAS measured in their drinking water. Where PFAS is found at levels that exceed these standards, systems must implement solutions to reduce PFAS in their drinking water within five years.

The new limits in this rule are achievable using a range of available technologies and approaches including granular activated carbon, reverse osmosis, and ion exchange systems. Drinking water systems will have flexibility to determine the best solution for their community and essential services that require wastewater treatment.


Additional Resources:

  • EPA will host a series of webinars to provide information to the public, communities, and water utilities about the final PFAS drinking water regulation. To learn more about the webinars, please visit EPA’s PFAS water regulation webpage.
  • EPA has also published a toolkit of communications resources to help drinking water systems and community leaders educate the public about PFAS, where they come from, their health risks, how to reduce exposure, and about this rule.
  • Contact a wastewater treatment expert at service.scsengineers.com to discuss the most appropriate treatment plan for your site, plant, or facility.





Posted by Diane Samuels at 12:00 pm

April 8, 2024

Timothy Smith
Timothy Smith, PE, will now lead the firm’s specialty practice in Leachate and Industrial Wastewater, Anaerobic Digestion (Liquids Management).


SCS Engineers, a leading global environmental solutions provider, announces that Timothy Smith, PE, will lead the firm’s Leachate and Industrial Wastewater, Anaerobic Digestion (Liquids Management) specialty practice.

SCS’s Liquids Management practice includes the management and treatment of landfill leachate, industrial wastewater, groundwater, and anaerobic digestion (AD) for converting livestock manure, municipal wastewater solids, food waste, industrial wastewater, FOG (fats, oils, and grease), or various other organic waste streams into biogas.

Smith, a Professional Engineer (PE) in nine states, has over twenty-five years of experience in civil and environmental engineering, focusing on waste and environmental services. His background experience comes from his work in leachate and industrial wastewater management and treatment, groundwater and stormwater management, remediation and biogas gas construction projects. His experience covers all project phases, from assessment to design and construction to implementation of treatment systems on industrial or municipal sites. Smith’s sector experience includes working with landfills, industrial facilities, military sites, petroleum, aerospace, transportation, municipalities, and food manufacturing/processing plants.

Smith, already an integral member of SCS’s Liquids Management practice for years, is ardent about reusing what society discards as waste into useful products and services again. His teams help conserve natural resources and reduce a business or municipality’s carbon footprint.

Timothy Smith’s custom teams of hydrogeologists, geologists, scientists, and engineers develop treatment solutions to meet the strictest federal, state, and local requirements to treat wastewater, leachates, groundwater, and other liquids for reuse. These systems can remove or destroy contaminants, including PFAS, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances of synthetic organofluorine chemical compounds found in some drinking water resources.

These specialized teams also work with manufacturers, food processing plants, and the agricultural industries to turn what was formerly considered organic waste into renewable energy. These Ag-Gas or AD solutions can power production, create energy to sell back to the grid, or become renewable fuels. All offer the benefits of lowering greenhouse gases.

Senior Vice President Nathan Hamm says, “Tim is a talented strategic thinker, an effective collaborator, a builder of people, and has dedicated his career to solving our clients’ liquids management challenges. The team will thrive under his direction.”

You may reach Tim Smith at or on LinkedIn.


Additional Resources:




Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am